Meet the team/Bring on the clowns
“Consider the source“.
The campaign to silence Revd. Sizer is essentially co-ordinated by the execrable CCJ “leadership“, and the individuals that dominate the Board of Deputies Defence Division. It is backed by the Board as a whole, and by The Jewish Leadership Council. Just what this “backing” means in the case of the JLC, is not made clear, but it usually means they are throwing money at it. Doubtless this is being handled by the JLC CEO, the notorious perjurer Jeremy Newmark.
In order to make clear the true the nature of this silencing campaign, and the sheer scale of the hypocracy and hubris that underpins it, we briefly profile the main players, highlighting the parlous state of their characters.
This is not going to stop at Revd. Sizer. Were they to obtain this “scalp”, every churchman that doesn’t toe their line, will think more than twice before speaking out.
It should also be born in mind that this not a case that stands in isolation. It is a component in a consciously put together lawfare campaign, conceived in late 2011, using JLC money and to quote Newmark, “working closely with the Israeli Foreign Ministry”. Other components include the FUCU disaster and the current ludicrous Moty Crystal business.
Amazing. British citizens colluding with a foreign government to curtail the civil liberties, particularly the freedom of expression and association, of other British citizens, British church people and British institutions.
David Jonathan Hoffman
The main players on the CCJ side of things are fully covered here.
The Jewish Leadership Council proudly trumpets that it is backing the campaign to silence Revd. Sizer. As we have explained, “backing“ in a JLC context, invariably means providing the wherewithal. If the CDM goes to a tribunal, it is going to prove very expensive indeed, and the Board have no money.
While the Board probably started out smugly assuming that any hearing would be short, sweet and successful, they will by now, have realised that that will not be the case. The hearing is likely to be long and uncomfortable and the chances of success are small and diminishing by the day.
Two things have changed everything. Firstly, the FUCU disaster, which demonstrated clearly that the Hasborafia’s private language game plays very badly with regular people in the real world. Secondly, they will have come to realise that their own behaviour, that of the JLC, the BoD, and that of the lamentable CCJ, will be very much front line issues.
This backing is being coordinated by the JLC CEO, Jeremy Newmark. Newmark is now, and forever will be, famous for being branded a perjurer by the tribunal in the FUCU case.
Newmark (appointed by the Israeli government to the steering committee of the Global Coalition for Israel) was a witness for the claimant in the FUCU case, a case that Jeremy Goldberg QC described as an epic folly.
For the incognescenti, the case was about a legal claim brought by a maths teacher, Ronnie Fraser, against his teaching union. He claimed that the Union had harassed him in breach of equality laws, due to its handling of the Israel-Palestine debate.
The judgment, when it came, was a total disaster for the Hasbarafia. It was brilliantly summed up by the Jewish civil rights barrister Adam Wagner….
This was a total, unqualified demolition job. As an outcome, it really was ten plagues bad.The language of the judgment is harsh and at times sarcastic. As a lawyer, you can take it from me that it doesn’t get much worse than this. This was a “sorry saga”, the Tribunal “greatly regret that the case was ever brought”, at its heart the case was “an impermissible attempt to achieve a political end by litigious means”. Perhaps worst of all, the claim showed a “worrying disregard for pluralism, tolerance and freedom of expression.”
But the most scathing comments were in respect of the evidence given by Jeremy Newmark, ie that it was untrue, false, preposterous, extraordinarily arrogant and disturbing…
We regret to say that we have rejected as untrue the evidence of Ms Ashworth and Mr Newmark concerning the incident at the 2008 Congress… Evidence given to us about booing, jeering and harassing of Jewish speakers at Congress debates was also false, as truthful witnesses on the Claimant’s side accepted. One painfully ill-judged example of playing to the gallery was Mr Newmark’s preposterous claim, in answer to the suggestion in cross- examination that he had attempted to push his way into the 2008 meeting, that a ‘pushy Jew’ stereotype was being applied to him. The opinions of witnesses were not, of course, our concern and in most instances they were in any event unremarkable and certainly not unreasonable. One exception was a remark of Mr Newmark in the context of the academic boycott controversy in 2007 that the union was “no longer a fit arena for free speech”, a comment which we found not only extraordinarily arrogant but also disturbing.
This is the man responsible for organising the decidedly iffy, shady and unacknowledged funding by Fair Play Group (a joint Board/JLC enterprise) of Engage Campaign, unacknowledged, despite Ronnie Fraser spilling the beans while giving evidence in his case against UCU.
This is also the man that will be coordinating the JLC’s “backing” of the action against Revd. Sizer…a man without principle and devoid of any sense of honour. Since FUCU, there has been no disciplinary action taken by the JLC, and no hint of any kind of condemnation. Nor has there been any kind of apology or expression of regret from either the JLC or Newmark. Newmark remains firmly in his position.
And this organisation has the nerve to back a campaign to have Revd. Sizer convicted of “conduct unbecoming “.
Where to start with Jonathan Hoffman?
Firstly, Hoffman is a liar. Not just a casual liar but a consistent, persistent, systematic liar. A liar on an absolutely epic scale. He once got so flustered when confronted with this fact he blurted..
“When I lie I apologise”.
Hoffman is a vendetta addict beyond the imaginings of ordinary regular people. Vendettas are the air that he breathes. He has been taking part in the vendetta(s) against Revd. Sizer from the very beginning, ever since Joey Weismann set the ball rolling. He famously declared “We are all Joseph Weismann now” when Weissman’s harassment of Sizer led Sizer to call the police.
Hoffman is an habitual writer of hate mail including to Revd. Sizer. (Courtesy of Nick Howard)
Hoffman is a homophobic ranter.
Hoffman is a sympathiser with, and cohort of the far right. That is, the Muslim baiting English Defence League. Seemingly, the Board see no incongruity between these propensities and his holding official positions in community organisations. The Board have never issued a single, solitary public word of condemnation of him. Nor have they in any way dissociated themselves from him.
Hoffman is a hooligan. He is a seasoned disrupter of meetings and is given to advising Jewish Students on how they might emulate him in this respect. He is particularly proud of getting thrown out of the Royal Albert Hall.
Hoffman is a yob. He was suspended from the International Division (that he was then a member of) for threatening the Division chair, Paul Edlin.
Anyone wanting to see the full truth about David Jonathan Hoffman can do so here.
That the accusations against Revd. Sizer can be taken seriously by the Church, when they are being driven by such a man is………words fail us.
Ronnie Fraser is the hapless fall guy in the disastrous attempt by the moneyed wing of the Hasbarafia establishment to force its will on the University and College Union in the FUCU case. Despite his unbridled enthusiasm for the cause, Ronnie was a very poor choice for the role of front man. He is emotionally fragile in the extreme and the whole business must have had a far reaching negative impact on his health (not that the Hasbarafia establishment care about that).
Ronnie embarked on a second career several years ago and is now a maths teacher at Barnet College. He is described by Marcus “got it wrong again” Dysch, of the Jewish Chronicle as “a leading academic”. Ronnie is also the founder and director of the dead in the water “Academic Friends of Israel” which consists of himself, his wife, and probably a few grandchildren. See here.
Despite the trauma of the FUCU experience, the lead up to it and the aftermath, Ronnie is by no means lying down and is enthusiastic about playing his part on the Defence Division in hounding Revd. Sizer.
It has to be said, Ronnie has certain attitudes that can only be described as fascist. His response to the abject failure of his attempts to damage his own union and in so doing displaying “a worrying disregard for pluralism, tolerance and freedom of expression“ was not calm self reflection. Rather, he announced that he was going to get the Board to come up with its own definition of anti-Semitism that would, in effect, ,make worship of The State of Israel a protected characteristic. There would then be a concerted campaign to get it enshrined in legislation.
In other words, he proposes to disenfranchise the countless speakers of the English language, and stipulate to them what the expression “anti-Semitism” means.
So if Ronnie calls you anti-Semitic please don’t take it too badly. It is just Ronnie’s linguistic fascism.
This is a man that expects to be taken seriously when he charges Revd. Sizer with anti-Semitism.
There’s not too much to say about Jerry.
He is a fairly straightforward, uncomplicated yob.
It was largely on account of Jerry and Hoffman disrupting Board plenaries, that the Board were forced to acknowledge that there were those among them that needed a formal code of conduct that reads like the school rules of your local primary.
At one point, Jerry’s behaviour got so bad that he was barred from Board premises, in that he had to seek permission to enter on each and every occasion he wished to do so. This, when he was a vice-president. That is, one of the four most senior officials of the Board. The tipping point was his swearing at and abusing the reception staff.
Jerry is without scruples or honour.
The core of the Board executive is a president and three vice presidents. Jerry has long held an ambition to be president, but now has taken on board the fact that this is not going to happen. However, he has been a vice president for a considerable time and regards one of the three positions as his private property.
Then in January 2012, Laura Marks, head of a commission on women and leadership set up by the JLC, was elected Deputy for the Movement For Reform Judaism. The vice president elections were scheduled for May and in February, precocious Laura announced that she intended to stand, and began campaigning.
Jerry was shaken to his ample foundations. Women and leadership was a flavour of the month issue and it soon became clear that Marks was going to get elected. It soon became equally clear to Jerry that it was going to be at HIS expense.
Needless to say, he was apoplectic with rage. This Jenny-come-lately with barely a month’s service under her belt, was going to take his vice president position, a position long essential to his sense of identity and worth. His mood can’t have been helped by the fact, illustrated by his abuse of the female reception staff, that he wasn’t a big fan of women anyway.
There wasn’t, for Jerry, a gracious acceptance of the shifting sands of democracy. He desperately tried to salvage the situation by the most scurrilous of moves. He tried to move an amendment to the constitution that would require a deputy to have served a minimum of two years before they could stand in vice presidential elections.
This is a man that fronts a campaign to have Revd. Sizer convicted of “conduct unbecoming”.
The Stephen Sizer CDM affair is close to being a year old and, at least from the outside, there appears to be no sign of a resolution. Given the cold shower of the FUCU disaster and the fact that the Board must realise that it is not Revd. Sizers behaviour that will be the central issue at any tribunal hearing, but that of the Board, the JLC and the CCJ, one would have thought the Board would have beat a hasty retreat months ago. This is what any rational organisation would have done. Why haven’t they ?
The answer is ……
Jonathan is in his 4th year as chair of the Board Defence division. Being “somebody” in “ community politics” is central to his existence. It is everything to him.
He had his “community politics“ career all mapped out. He would one day, be President of the Board of Deputies. In the meantime, he would play a waiting game, content to be a vice president.
In the 2012 Presidential election, Vivian Wineman was clearly unassailable and nobody, not even Jonathan, was stupid enough to challenge him. But in 2015, Wineman will be unable to stand again, and the conventional wisdom is that it will be a face off between Jonathan and Lawrence Brass. This will be a no brainer. Brass is more or less a regular person and has some strange opinions, like the Board’s credibility would be enhanced if it permitted itself constructive criticism of Israel. He is unelectable.
So fair stood the wind for France. Or did it ?
Unfortunately, there were forces gathering that threatened the seemingly dang dunk dream.
The financial dependence of the Board on JLC grandees meant there might not even be a Board in 2015, and if there were, it probably wouldn’t be something worth being President of. This fear, added to Jonathan’s emotionally erratic personality, added up to a perfect storm of disaster. Jonathan had a break down of epic proportions that destroyed the dream for ever. Read all about it here.
Only a grovelling apology and retraction, and the plea that he had been “unwell“ saved his VP position. In fact, he is very fortunate indeed that he is still allowed to make the tea.
Jonathan is never going to be president of the Board of Deputies (unless by default), but can’t accept it. He is in complete denial. In his fevered imagination, he sees the prospect of securing a notable scalp on behalf of “the community” as representing the possibility of a revival of his presidential ambitions or at least the possibility of a position of some status in the new order after the JLC completes its takeover. The only scalp of significant importance on the horizon is that of Revd. Sizer.
It was, with considerable amusement, when trawling the dark and extreme corners of the internet, we found ourselves on the BoD web site, and were treated to an announcement by Arkush that they (the Board) were going to give conciliation a whirl. Since there have been no further announcements, we assume this is still going on. Arkush is between a rock and a very hard place. Going back to the nutters of the Defence Division and the lunatic fringe of the Board with anything less than a full confession is unthinkable. He may as well drink the hemlock and be done. He is not going to get such a confession and the alternative is to risk the matter going to a tribunal hearing, and inevitable disaster. Our best guess is that he will deem risking a Tribunal too scary and opt for for the wrath of the mob. Doubtless he will try to spin his climb down as best he can but his future looks very bleak. Being ” unwell ” is not likely to work again.
Ephraim Borowski is director of the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (ScoJec). For all practical purposes Borowski IS Scojec. He is a member of the Board Defence Division, and one of the division’s more enthusiastic pursuers of Revd. Sizer. For him, it seems to be personal, in the extreme.
Borowski has an air about him that exudes the impression that one is dealing with a patient, thoughtful academic. In reality he is a highly skilled dissembler and habitually……lets keep it polite and just say is “economical with the actuality”.
At the 2013 Church of Scotland General Assembly, there was to be an internal report presented called “The Inheritance of Abraham”. This is not the time or place to discuss the merits and demerits of the report. Suffice it to say, it was very much not to the Hasbarafia’s liking. A coordinated assault on the Church was led by ScoJec (Barowski) and the CCJ (inevitably) organised a meeting between Church officials and a whole battery of Jewish organisation in line with the Hasbarafia motto of “don’t confront miscreants with one Jewish organisation when you can confront them with a dozen”.
In consequence, the report was modified, but obviously not to the satisfaction of Borowski et al.
During the course of the debate on the resolution to accept the report, a certain David Randall proposed an amendment as follows….
“Instruct Council to engage in further dialogue with ScoJec with a view to bringing a new report to the General Assembly in 2014“.
As Borowski later lamented, Randall couldn’t even get a seconder.
In other words, The Assembly took the eminently reasonable view that the report had been discussed with ScoJec et al, amendments had been made as a result, and they were not willing to put their legitimate business on hold for a year in order that THEIR business could be further negotiated with ScoJec or to schedule, in effect, a replacement report for 2014.
However, Borowski, backed by the Hasbarafia in general, dissembled this as the Church having “overwhelmingly rejected a call for continuing dialogue with the Jewish community“ and having “slammed the door on dialogue.“
In other words, the Church had resolved that it wouldn’t talk to Joos.
See it on film here.
This is typical of Borowski’s dissembling. Another example is a rambling contribution to the BBC’s Thought For The Day programme in April. He describes how the Tribunal in the FUCU case found that …
ZIONISM is not integral to Judaism when it has been part of our prayers for thousands of years.
Except that it didn’t. It found that worship of the modern State of Israel is not an integral part of Jewishness and not a protected characteristic under the Equality Act. “You may as well say that supporting Tottenham Hotspur is a protected characteristic because lots of Jews do.” (Jeffrey Goldberg QC)
Seeing the problem, the dissembling Borowski replaces “Israel“ with “Zionism“, hoping nobody will notice, and no doubt hoping most people won’t realise this is worse, from his point of view. Zionism is scarcely older than The State of Israel in the historical scheme of things, and for much of its history, most Jews were emphatically anti-Zionist and much of the rest were ambivalent.
We hope that Borowski was more intellectually honest when he taught philosophy. We suspect not.
Borowski is very much at home on the Defence Division, whose role seems to have morphed into projecting its own hypersensitivity onto the community as a whole, and then protecting these raised sensitivities from criticism of Israel.
He has made a career out of painting the very low levels of anti–Semitism in Scotland as an all consuming monster, insisting that most Scottish Jews feel “uncomfortable, threatened and unsafe.” He worked this out from the results of a survey, the respondents being a sample from ScoJec’s mailing list !!!!
Many of the more emotionally healthy Scottish Jews are not impressed by Borowski’s activities, not recognising themselves in the picture he paints. Some of them are positively alarmed.
In May/June 2010, three members of GJEC Michael Samuel, Jeremy Stain and Tony Tankel, wrote a letter to the Jewish Chronicle expressing this alarm. It ended…
“ Finally the Glasgow Jewish Educational Council are concerned at the repeated attempts of ScoJec (ie Borowski) to exaggerate the threat of anti-Semitism which will only cause harm to the interests of Jews living in Scotland. “
Unsurprisingly, this letter was not published.
Clearly, when Borowski calls Stephen Sizer or anyone else anti-Semitic, you need to have a very large pinch of salt handy.
Borowski has a thing about Revd. Sizer. He keeps a dossier on him that he calls “Dossier of background information about Revd. Sizer.“ The most frequent citations are to Joey Weismann’s juvenile scribblings on the racist cess-pit blog site, Harry’s Place (recommended by the EDL and Ephraim Borowski).
Further, Borowski is not in any way concerned to disguise that the purpose of the CDM complaint against Revd. Sizer is to gag him.
Borowski was obviously closely involved in the bringing of the CDM complaint and decided to back it up with a frolic of his own. We had had the March blitz Krieg earlier in the year (2012), now there was to be an October blitz Krieg.
As luck would have it, Revd. Sizer was scheduled to speak at a conference in Edinburgh on Nov 2nd, organised jointly by The Balfour Project and The Church of Scotland. Borowski decided he was going to put a stop to all that nonsense.
The CDM complaint was to be issued on 26th October. Some time earlier, Borowski had written to the Church and Society Council demanding that Revd. Sizer not be afforded the facility to speak, attaching his “dossier“. He had gotten nowhere but clearly felt that the issue of the CDM was an opportune moment to try again. After all, the venerable cuddlies at the Board would not have made such a move if Revd. Sizer was not everything that he (Borowski) said he was, would they?
So the day before the issue of the CDM, Borowski wrote the most astonishing vitriolic letter to Revd. John Chalmers, the Church’s principle clerk (naturally, with dossier once again attached). As well as smearing Revd. Sizer uphill and down dale, it is full of hints that he regards the Church officials as stupid because they didn’t “get it“.
The coordination with the CDM is obvious and Borowski clearly thinks the CDM makes all the difference, especially if he were to insert an implied threat along the way, which he has no difficulty in doing…
I should also alert you to the fact that the Board of Deputies is preparing a formal
disciplinary complaint about him to the Church of England. Their dossier is likely to be
submitted next week, and it will be made public. It would be very surprising indeed if
the media were not to make the connection with Sizer’s event in Scotland the very same
The letter is long and rambling and to be candid, not unfairly described as demented.
Perhaps the most amazing passage is……its “project” is in fact, for the UK to”apologise” for Balfour’s facilitating the autonomy of the people of the Bible in the land of the Bible – in effect, a denial of the historical narrative of the New Testament.
It finally mercifully ends…
We would therefore urge you as a matter of urgency to reconsider the Church’s support
for his organisation and to dissociate yourselves unambiguously from the activities of
this serial second-hand peddler of hatred. I cannot overstate the seriousness of this
matter, and I am therefore copying this letter both to the Moderator and , David Gifford
at the CCJ. (the Board’s subjugate)
Borowski got a pretty long letter back which was entirely dismissive of his rabid whining, essentially saying that Borowski’s complaints were a Church of England matter and for the time being the Church (of Scotland) would accept the judgments of Revd. Sizers superiors and his own declared positions.
Unfazed, Borowski wrote another long bullying, hectoring letter on 31st October, playing the inter-faith relations card for all it was worth.
I cannot stress too much the seriousness with which the Jewish community will view your public association with Sizer
Please be in no doubt about the harm your willing association with this man and his activities will do.
David Chalmers, no doubt fearing for his sanity, did not respond.
So Borowski spills the beans. The real reason for the Boards actions against Recd Sizer is to gag him and to bully people into not associating with him.
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If it works for the Board of Deputies, it’ll work for us. ~Editor